tv [untitled] December 22, 2012 8:30am-9:00am PST
don't have sfmta's ear for community input. and i'd like to encourage the organization to spend more time and concerns. i think you're going to get a good start today. but the things you have on your agenda you're going to be voting on options 3 or 4 or possibly falling back to option 1. and i think 3 or 4 would probably be reasonable. i just wanted to say if these fall through and you decide to revert back to option 1, i think you'll have a lot of opposition in north beach again [inaudible]. >> thank you, sir. and just as a last comment, please do stop, reinitiate communication with the neighbor. >> thank you. [speaker not understood].
>> stephen taylor, [speaker not understood]. good evening. my name is stephen tabor. central task force, i'm also the transportation chair for russian hill neighbors. you'll be hearing from russian hill neighbor president so i will confine my remarks to spur. spur has supported this project vigorously since its inception. we have supported the four corridors plan which is based on this project, encompasses two of the four corridors. our major criticism against this project that we have had for some time is it doesn't go far enough. it needs to be extended so that it encompasses the entire north beach corridor. and our principal aim is to make sure that whatever happens does not preclude the extension. we are working very closely with mta and others to begin the study for the extension. we strongly support option number 4, which by the way, contrary to what the previous
speaker said, was overwhelmingly supported at the meeting, citizens meeting on the 19th. only a small number of people supported option 2. most of the people there also supported -- people there also voted that they wanted a north beach station, which is something that we very much support. option number 4 gives us the best of all possible worlds. it eliminates on-street disruption while at the same time providing a staging ground not only to take out this [speaker not understood], but another tunnel boring machine for fisherman's wharf and also for the construction of the station. so, we very strongly support option number 4. >> thank you, sir. next speaker, please. >> lorenzo petroni, claudine chang and [speaker not understood]. hello, i lived in north beach for 55 years. north beach is going through very challenging situation right now.
there are people hanging on their businesslike this. i'm not against the project, but what i'm against is [speaker not understood] in north beach. we don't need to do the extraction in north beach. let's leave like they do in new york the machine on the ground, and then you reuse it later on. you don't have to do anything. you do that, everything will be cool. [laughter] do you understand what i mean? north beach, lot of the little business in north beach are going to go broke. i'm not going to go broke. i've been there for 42 years. the business already, they're feeling already. you go at 2 o'clock in the morning you have roaches this long on the sidewalks and they go inside the businesses. you've got to think about it. i know it's a big project. i know a lot of people are involved. big money involved. you cannot look back. you leave the machine there and everybody will be happy.
and then you -- next 10 years from now, god bless, you can go to saucelido. [laughter] you understand that? leave the machines in the ground like they do in new york. don't come with the machines so long, this, we cannot do this. you are doing a project for $1,700,000. machine is only $11 million. that is reusable. in new york they use the machine there for 18 years. i have nothing else to say. but we are all adults. we all understand. you start a project like this and you do half, [speaker not understood]. [laughter] >> okay, thank you. next speaker. (applause) >> claudine chang, [speaker not understood] smith, eric scott. >> good afternoon, ms. chang. good afternoon.
claudine chang, [speaker not understood] i'm speaking. i'm someone very concerned about what is happening in north beach today. in january in support of the north beach station and a solution that would provide the kind of transit efficiency for the city, and i'm also in support of having no extractions in north beach. speaking directly to the proposed resolution today, the three appreciatevxeses, preference number 1 is to evaluate option 4 which is a favorite option so far from what i have heard. however, the way that the resolution was written, much has to depend on whether additional environmental review is necessary. and as of today from mr. funge's report or update, it appears that it may be, it may be not. [speaker not understood]. let's put it that way. preference number 2 is option 3, which again, i think has the same environmental review issue that comes to this.
the last we saw -- i have the most objections to [speaker not understood] rifkin ha termed the last report ultimate [speaker not understood], that is really an issue. because i think in the community meeting that we have, that is two options that everybody opposed or overwhelmingly opposed. i think, of course, this is the ultimate default and i -- hopefully that won't happen. lastly, i'd like to request for consideration of this artificial deadline of february 4th. i understand time and cost and a lot of things involved in making this very important decision. but the community dialogue, the community planning process has just started. i know the project has been kind of going on for 20-year, but the north beach process started half a year. we barely started and i'm getting into it. i think we have a deadline of february 1st to make this kind of decisions. i think i'm very troubled by
it. i'd like to request that the resolution be amended to reflect a date that gives more time for the community to be involved. thank you. >> thank you. next speaker. >> [speaker not understood] smith, eric scott, julie christian son. >> good afternoon, mr. [speaker not understood]. nice to see you. mr. chairman, director rifkin, thank you, and members. thank you for the seeking additional opinion and reach a resident opinion. my name is rod [speaker not understood]. i'm not here as a past president of the hill dwellers. i divert from the hill dweller's review on this one. no nor have the project members -- steve has eloquently given you purchase's position. nor as a past commissioner. you're a member of civic design for many years. i am currently a board member at renew sf and that opinion will be given by others. i'm here to support completion
of the t-line from bayview to fisherman's wharf. as you say, that's not on your agenda today. that's really what this is all about. we have been working on that since the late 1960s. we have station designs from late 1967 offering the merchants of north beach rapid transit, grade separated service underground. four years ago we cautioned the central subway's engineers to avoid line and station construction that would obviously arouse strong community opposition. i think we put our supervisor david chiu in a very difficult position here. you and we, the residents. specifically we requested but were ignored that the line should terminate beyond washington square. now is the time for you to offer our merchants the low
city treasurerance engineering termination of option 4 that will let us residents, russian hill, telegraph hill, golden gateway, chinatown, commute to work in a modern city's rapid transit vehicle. thank you. * >> next speaker, please. >> eric scott followed by julie christian son, and then joan wood. >> good afternoon. this is not a project that's intended to benefit a single neighborhood. this is a project that's intended to benefit all san franciscans. when it was originally proposed to the public, the timelines and the cost estimates were based upon completion this year with revenue service starting no later than next year. there are very few projects that get better by being delayed. they just get more expensive. and all of the calls for additional environmental reviews. the frivolous lawsuits and so on, these are the things that
are responsible for the explosion in the costs. we don't have to take this thing out through columbus avenue. we could have taken it out through the park and left the roadway open. but we had even more vocal opposition to the people who didn't want to harm a single tree or a single blade of grass. this was the compromise that was intended to mollify the public. there is nothing wrong in principle with pagoda option. it's just there are additional costs there. they have to come from somewhere. my city is not a trash dumb. i don't want to leave anything in the ground. that's a practice that should have stopped with washing the ships into the store line and the gold rush era and filling in the bay to extend the shoreline. we want people to pick up our trash, to separate our recyclables, to reuse, repurpose what we can * to practice sustainability.
to set leadership by example. do whatever you have to do, but let's not leave these pieces somewhere in the ground where they're going to be someone else's problem, but someone else's problem at our expense. thank you. >> our next speaker, please. >> julie christian son, joan wood, fannie renwau. >> good afternoon. good afternoon. i support the general connection of t-line to north beach if it is well designed and well planned. because of that i don't support the abandonment of equipment under chinatown. i believe the loss of finances and the loss of momentum could reduce the chances for an eventual north beach station. i do support the extraction at the 1700 block of powell. whether that be the pagoda or one of the adjacent properties. i think the pagoda itself has a
lot of benefit. if the extraction takes place, if the land is leased from the property owner, not purchased, the property owner has a lot to gain. there is a high water table. there's tons of concrete, bleachers poured in the middle of that building. if the city extracted the unit there and left that property owner with a better situation, it would benefit both us and him. of course, the purchase of the property is what i'd like because i think there are a number of benefits to the neighborhood in having a transit station at that particular location. but we're not just talking about transit, bull the entire public relevant being of north beach. the escalator alignment and all the connections, i think for us it allows some changes to the heart of north beach that could be not only a transit benefit, but a benefit to the public realm. with washington square, the new library, joe di maggio, the pedestrian experience on columbus, it can make a big difference for both the residents and the businesses and the visitors to our
neighborhood. so, the opportunity here is really to improve -- to offer a chance to improve the neighborhood in many great ways. i don't know how to ask you to vote. i know i'm highly in favor of the pagoda option, but i'm not sure about the resolution today because of the some of the issues of timing. i'd like you to instruct the mta not to simply try, in the words of yoda, but to do. to approach this option with the vigor and determination that makes it real and to give us a chance for the future. >> thanks. >> joan wood followed by sandy renwau, and yee fong. >> good afternoon, ms. woods. good afternoon, commissioners. i've been living in north beach since 1962. i've continuously used the central subway, but we lost that one. i am just stupefied by some of
the lies. i can't believe option 2 was not the favored choice. director rifkin, you were there, i'm sure you remember this rather clearly. we were not notified about this meeting and that these options were going to be presented to you until november 30th. i understand not everybody was notified by mr. funge if these options were going to be put before you. but anyway, i was. and then i've been back and forth with him three or four times about why option 2 didn't appear on the agenda. and the last thing i heard from him was, he thanked me this was the first. thank you for your comments regarding option 2. we'll be presenting all options to our board of -- on december the first. i don't see option 2 anyplace in your agenda. the decision on which option to move forward is now with our board. i was at the meeting all three
hours of it and option 2 was clearly the majority vote. it says $20 million. nobody seems to be interested in that. pagoda palace is indeed an eyesore, but it seems to be if you go for it, or vote that it can be studied further, it's just going to continue the plan that they want already. it's still going to tear up a lot of columbus avenue. it has to. there's no way we can get the boring machines without causing a lot of disretionv. please, postpone the vote until you get option 2 before you -- we weren't even given the black-out statistic for the five options we were presented with. thank you. >> thank you. next speaker, please. >> fannie renwau and [speaker not understood]. >> i'm a north each artist and poet and i like to live above ground and walk around san
francisco and so do the did you rememberists. if we bypass all the small businesses in chinatown and in north beach, that's not going to do anyone any good at all. it's like bombing golden gate park and a few other things that i can think of * . it's like israel building in the west bank. * without, you know, stepping over their bounds. we need to make this city more beautiful and more lovely, not industrialized. i would like to see a cable car coming down columbus avenue. that is what we love. that is what we want. that is what i want. i want to keep this neighborhood the way it was when i came here 28 years ago,
gentle, beautiful people, talking on corners, turning everyone into smilers, making happiness. this is not a happy situation at all. look at gentrification at fisherman's wharf. this is a dictator's plan. everything, this plan for muni and i love muni above ground. i love riding it. it's a terrific service. i love to see the chinese people and everyone else doing their thing. and i want to do it better and more magical. let's keep the magic in north beach and work out something through brainstorming with everyone about what it's going to make it better for san francisco and the [speaker not understood] of san francisco. >> thank you. next speaker, please.
>> lotus yee fong, glendina farley, [speaker not understood]. >> good afternoon. hi, i'm lotus fong. and to use the convention & visitors slogan, mr. de la sandra should be happy. only in san francisco, there's two lotus fongs. so, i'm going to take this -- i only moved here 30 years ago. i remember johnny stein from muni. i personally knew three senior citizens who were killed at geary and laguna. so, i was at the meeting to get the limited stop, okay. what i see is the city's growing and gentrifying very fast. sometimes when you do things fast, you might be a little sorry afterwards. so, i'd like to support everyone else here who feels the sense of community in the city and also whenever i'm in chinatown, north beach, downtown, my husband and i, we stop and we help the tourists.
we give them directions. you get off at powell between washington, you don't know where chinatown is. okay. so, in the interest of making the quality of life and transportation in san francisco better, it seems like we need to slow down, february 1st is not going to work, and rethink this thing. and in the beginning when we had the emergencies, these day or two and i give all the employees credit, the word used was "cost-effective." so, the gentleman who did the work to fix the breakdown is we need to build that kind of city at the street level or whatever level where we don't have more pedestrian transit accidents. so, there seems to be some design flaws. i drive fourth and bryant because my husband works by the caltrain station. well, that's the beginning of
it, but i don't see the logical connection, how you get on the subway. and then from chinatown i want to speak to the hardships of the businesses because i tried helping louie's restaurant. they went out of business, four years of construction from the chinatown campus of community college. so, cost-effective, it's going to be this much money -- >> thank you very much. let's do it right. >> next speaker. >> [speaker not understood]. patricia landis, mark brewin owe. >> good afternoon. >> hello, my name is [speaker not understood], and i lived in north beach most of my life. i work in both chinatown and north beach at the historic and culinary tour guide. i know chinatown is very excited about their subway station, at least some people, especially the artists assigned to paint murals. as an artist i can fully understand * . but what i can't understand is why we can't leave the tbm machines in chinatown. use the money saved and put it
into a trust or account to collect interest until the time we can put a station in north beach. we could do some creative investigation into the possibility of bore boroughing under maybe powell street * and set a proper station at the site of the pagoda palace showcase instead of digging under businesses that are trying to hard to keep the neighborhood interesting and alive. lately i have been guiding excited guests from all parts of the world by the beautiful and historic washington square park, clark tower. st. peter and paul's church, shops, bakeries, restaurants, and also by embarrassing and dangerous tractors, trailers, traffic jambs, downed trees, dug up streets amidst the aroma of coffee roasting and diesel fumes. i know what's going on. i live right in the middle of north beach. one window is on columbus, one window is on stockton. i can smell, taste, hear -- i know what's going on.
and i think a little more investigation should be planned before bulldozing through our neighborhood without regard to residents and businesses, which does not represent progress or proper planning, but i think mostly greed. thank you. >> patricia landis, [speaker not understood]. good afternoon. my name is patricia [speaker not understood]. we're coming from north beach and i'm a florist. [speaker not understood]. i'm happy everybody has business now, but thinking about our business is very, very hard. now with the construction, i know -- now, everybody saves money. i know everybody is saving money in the pocket. this is no, no. they're saying city hall has to
save money. [speaker not understood]. i was working coming from chinatown and i realized it's leaking the water why they don't paint t why they don't fix what they already done? repair what is right now. i'm happy that there is construction and they are investing money in san francisco. that's wonderful. everybody say, wow, san francisco so many opportunities. it's construction, you can do this business. but now, it is a catastrophe. if they think that, okay, i'm happy. think about everybody because we represent families. all the people, how is patricia's business? it's slow, it's slow. wow, i hope it will be better. i'm concerned with this. we're part of the neighborhood like. this i've seen the engineer and the architecture.
they think about a place, you know. so, think about everything what you're doing and try to preserve what we have. you can work at north beach easily through chinatown. it's good to work. it's very good, i did. [speaker not understood]. (applause) i'm 55 years old. you're 55? yeah, it's okay, it's a number. but if you work, you're healthy. yeah. so, i hope -- thank you for everything. thank you very much. i appreciate. >> thank you. next speaker. >> mark bruno, tina more land, graziano [speaker not understood]. my name is mark bruno. thank you directors for listening to our concerns about the first option, which is called the base option in north beach. i should tell you that i'm one of the litigants in the current lawsuit. it is not a trivia lawsuit. it's a real lawsuit.
31 businesses are supporting us because they're concerned about the effects on their businesses should option 1, the base plan to take the equipment out of the center of columbus occur. i would like to endorse what mr. reiskin, the director of the mta suggested was the possibility at the beginning of today's meeting. that is that you accept the return here if option 4 and option 3 are not possible, that they would ask the mta to come back here to the board with or without public comment but certainly just to listen for all of us in public to know why option 4 and option 3 are not possible. and i commend mr. reiskin and director [speaker not understood] for listening for the first time to the community. i think they've done an excellent job in trying to find out what it is that the businesses are so concerned about. i think that i can say if we can't go to the pagoda palace
or choose option 3 instead, we would certainly withdraw this lawsuit. i've met privately with the mayor about that and we confirmed that in writing to him and to christine [speaker not understood], that we are not trying to stop the subway at all, but only we're concerned about preserving the community in north beach. i myself testified many years ago in favor of the subway. i recently ran for public office and i made a point of always saying as i do now, that i'm in favor of the subway. i'm in favor of it coming to north beach. and i want to see it happen in the right way with public input and with proper financing. finally, i want to answer one question that was raised earlier today by director brinkman, and that is comparing union square with north beach. i think the difference only there is the businesses there are very largement many of them are chains that have support and finance from their chinese. so, the people in north beach, the businesses in particular, are much more concerned about the possible effects in their neighborhood. and, of course, we're not scheduled for a subway stop. that's another difference. >> thank you, mr. bruno.
thank you for your time. next speaker. [speaker not understood] more land, graziano [speaker not understood], [speaker not understood]. >> good afternoon. good afternoon, director rifkin and fellow board members. i'm currently the president of russian hill neighbors, and we represent over 600 households and merchants. and at our recent meeting that ended at 9 o'clock last night, our board of directors with 30 people -- we have a very large board of directors -- unanimously voted to support option 4 at the pagoda theater. it is rare that 30 people agree, especially the 30 people with whom i'm involved. i come from a family of 45. rarely -- we have collaboration, rarely consensus. so, i've been involved with -- i've been with north beach
library, so, different opinions. i respect and everyone's opinion that has come before me today, but this just happens to be what we looked at it very thoroughly as we have. it's a 30-year old organization and we've tried to take in every side of it. and like i said, we unanimously support option 4 at this time. things could change, but today december 4th [inaudible]. thank you. >> thank you. >> graziano [speaker not understood]. my name is graziano mukasey and i run a small business in north beach. [speaker not understood] found out when it's supposed to start. and nobody ever came.
nobody ever said anything to us. and when we find out, 116 people in one week signed that we were against it, 116 byness, not people, business. so, now we're at the point * [speaker not understood] not only do we have the business, and they want to dig a huge hole in the middle of columbus avenue and union. now, i ask the last meeting, i asked the last meeting, why section 1 have to be done after 2, 3 and 4, can't pick any of those? they said, well, that's what you need. you need a station in north beach so more people coming in. when the station going to be done? it's not even on the books. it's not even -- money, nothing. 10 years from now, 15 years from now?